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Second suspect arrested, to be charged with homicide following death of South Salt Lake officer

Posted at 5:50 PM, Nov 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-27 12:59:41-05

SOUTH SALT LAKE, Utah -- A second suspect has been arrested and will be charged with homicide following the death of a South Salt Lake Police officer Saturday.

Jeffrey Don Black, 43, will be charged with "Homicide / Burglary / Obstruction of Justice and more," the South Salt Lake Police Department said Monday.

Black was one of two individuals involved in a burglary case that resulted in the death of  31-year old Officer David Romrell of the South Salt Lake Police Department.

The second suspect in the incident, identified by police as 32-year-old Felix Anthony Calata of West Valley City, was killed by police after he hit Romrell with his car.

Romrell was transferred to the hospital Saturday, where he died from his injuries.

Black, speaking to reporters on his way to jail, said he had only met Calata a handful of times.

"I've only met [Calata] a couple of times," he said. "...We were going to make some money."

"By stealing stuff from businesses?" a reporter asks Black.

Black: "It wasn't business, the girl owed him money, so..."

Black said he didn't know the pair had hit a police officer. He said he was "sorry" for what happened to Romrell.

"No, I didn't know it was a cop," he said. "I thought it was a mail box."

Police said Black ultimately told them he heard officers yelling "police stop" and that Calata said "F--- it: before Calata accelerated in attempt to flee and struck Officer Romrell.

Police initially arrested Black after the incident but released him without charging him. He was arrested again after police said they learned Black gave them false information about what had happened during that first arrest.

Police say Black ultimately admitted to being present during the burglary and at one point driving the vehicle as Calata used a crow bar in an attempt to force entry at the building.

Police also said they learned Black has a pending court case against him in Kanab and had an active warrant out for his arrest.

Court records show Black pleaded guilty to assault as part of domestic violence case on August 30 and was due to be sentenced in Kane County on November 29. That case stems from an arrest in April of this year.